In each of the first two seasons of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the schedule has been a bit spread out. The first event, held during the 2013-14 season, spanned the months of November and December with this year’s version being better from a scheduling standpoint with games being held from December 3-6.
Thursday the conferences announced another change to the schedule, and it’s one that should help the profile of the event moving forward.
Next year’s Challenge will consist of ten games played on one day, January 30, 2016. The four SEC programs that aren’t selected for the event will play a conference game on that day, with those two matchups being determined by the SEC Network according to the release.
“Moving the Big 12/SEC Challenge later in the season will raise the profile of this event and give our coaches, student-athletes and fans the attention that it deserves,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in the release.
By that point in the season the conferences will have a better idea of which games would best benefit them from an NCAA tournament resume standpoint, although it isn’t stated in the release when the ten Challenge games will be determined. If there’s a way to simply determine which teams will host a game and which will have to travel before the season begins, that could lend itself to greater flexibility when it comes to figuring out the matchups.
According to the release, in future years the goal for the conferences will be to find a common open date in either January or February to hold the event.